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PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN
In 1797 Coleridge had already published a vol-
ume of verse and brought it to a second edition ;
but it contained no promise of what was to come.
Then the miracle happened. On the thirteenth
of November of that year, at half-past four in
the afcernoon, the three friends — Wordsworth,
his sister Dorothy, and Coleridge — set off from
Nether Stowey in Somerset to walk to Watchet,
on their way to the Exmoor country, intend-
ing to defray their expenses by the sale of a
poem which the two men were to compose by
the way. Before the first eight miles had been
covered the plan of joint authorship had broken
down, and Coleridge took the poem into his sole
hands. He wrought at it until the following
March. 'On the twenty-third of that month',
writes Dorothy, ' Coleridge dined with us ; he
brought his ballad. The Ancient Manner, finished.
Wq walked with him to the miner's house. A
beautiful evening, very starry, the horned moon.'
We feel that the stars were out with excuse, to
celebrate the birth of a star.
The Ancient Manner sets one reflecting that,
after all, the men of the Middle Ages had much
to say for themselves, who connected poetry with
magic, and thought of Virgil as a wizard. We
can ignore the time and circumstance of its birth,
ignore the theorizings out of which it sprang,
ignore Wordsworth and his prefaces and the taste
on which they made war ; and still, after more
than a hundred years. The Ancient Mariner is the
wild thing of wonder, the captured star, which
Coleridge brought in his hands to Alfoxden and
showed to Dorothy and William Wordsworth.
Not in the whole range of English poetry — not
in Shakespeare himself — has the lyrical genius of
our language spoken with such a note.
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard . . .
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.
Its music is as effortless as its imagery. Its
words do not cumber it : exquisite words come
to it, but it uses and straightway forgets them.
Not Shakespeare himself, unless in snatches, so
sublimated the lyrical tongue, or obtained effects
so magical by the barest necessary means.
The many men, so beautiful !
And they all dead did lie.
The moving Moon went up the sky
And nowhere did abide ;
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside.
The body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee :
The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me.
Here, and throughout, from the picture of the
bride entering the hall to that of the home-coming
in the moon-lit harbour, every scene in the pro-
cession belongs to high romance, yet each is
conjured up with that economy of touch we are
wont to call classical. We forget almost, listening
to the voice, that there are such things as words.
And now 'twas like all instruments.
Now like a lonely flute ;
And now it is an angel's song
That makes the heavens be mute.
If, in criticism, such an epithet be pardonable, we
would call that voice seraphic ; if such a simile,
we would liken it to a seraph's, musing, talking
before the gate of Paradise in the dawn.
THE RIME OF
THE ANCIENT MARINER
IN SEVEN PARTS
Facile credo, plures esse Naturas invisibles quam visibiles
in rerum universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam quis
nobis enarrabit ? etgradus et cognationes et discrimina et
singuloYum munera f ^uid agunt f quae loca habitant ?
Harum rerum notitiam semper ambivit ingenium huma-
num, nunquam attigit. luvat, interea, non diffiteor, quan-
doque in animo, tanquam in Tabula, maioris et melioris
mundi imaginem contemplari: ne mens assuef acta hodier-
nae vitae minutiis se contrahat nimis, et tota subsidat in
pusillas cogitationes. Sedveritati interea invigilandum
est, modusque servandus, ut certa ab incertis,
diem a nocte, distinguamus.
Archaeol. Phil.,p. 68.
How a Ship having passed the Line was driven bj Storms
to the cold Country towards the South Pole; and how
from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude
of the Great Pacific Ocean; and of the strange things that
befell; and in what manner the Ancjent Marinere came
hack to his own Country.
It is an ancient Mariner, ^n ancient
And he stoppeth one of three. three Gaiums
hidden to a
" By thy long grey beard and glittering eye, wedding-feast,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me ? o«^-
The Bridegroom's doors are open'd wide,
And I am next of kin j
The guests are met, the feast is set :
May'st hear the merry din."
He holds him with his skinny hand,
"There was a ship," quoth he.
" Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon ! "
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
X The Rime of the
The ivzdiing- Hc holds him with his glittering eye —
Guest is spell-
bound by the eye Xhc Wedding-Guest Stood Still,
of the old sea-
faring man, and ^nd listens like a three years' child :
to hearhis tale, ^^i^ Mariner hath his will.
The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone :
He cannot choose but hear ;
And thus spake on that ancient man.
The bright -eyed Mariner.
" The ship was cheer 'd, the harbour clear 'd,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the light-house top.
The Mariner The Sun Came up upon the left,
tells how the ship
sailed southward Qut of thc sca Came he !
with a good wind
and fair weather, ^ud hc shoue bridit, and on the rip;ht
till it reached ^ ' ^
the line. \^ent down into the sea.
Higher and higher every day
Till over the mast at noon — '
The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast, rhz weUmg-
Guest heareth the
For he heard the loud bassoon. bridal muski
The bride hath paced into the hall.
Red as a rose is she ;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.
The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear ;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.
but the Mariner
continue th his
^^ And now the storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong :
He struck with his overtaking wings.
And chased us south along.
The ship drawn
by a storm toward
the south pole.
4- The Rime of the
With sloping masts and dipping prow.
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe.
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roarM the blast,
And southward aye we fled.
And now there came both mist and snow.
And it grew wonderous cold :
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
The land of ice. And through thc drifts the snowy clifts
and of fearful
sounds, where no Did scnd a dismal sheen :
linjing thing was
to be seen. Nor shapcs of men nor beasts we ken —
The ice was all between.
The ice was here, the ice was there.
The ice was all around :
It cracked and growled, and roar'd and howPd.
Like noises in a swound !
At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came ;
As if it had been a Christian soul.
We hailed it in God's name.
Till a. great sea-
bird, called the
albatross J came
with great wy
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit ;
The helmsman steer'd us through !
And a good south wind sprung up behind; ^ndio! the
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariners' hollo !
proveth a bird oj
good omen, and
followeth the ship
as it returned
through fog and
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perch'd for vespers nine ;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white.
Glimmered the white Moon-shine."
The Q^ncient zJMartner
The ancient " God savc thcc, ancicnt Mariner !
inhospitably Froiii the fiends, that plague thee thus ! —
pioHs bird of Why look'st thou so ? " — " With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross.''
1 HE Sun now rose upon the right :
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.
And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariners' hollo !
And I had done a hellish thing, hu shipmates
cry out against
And it would work 'em woe : the ancient ^
For all averred, I had killed the bird K^iiingthe bird
That made the breeze to blow.
^ Ah wretch ! ' said they, ^ the bird to slay.
That made the breeze to blow ! '
oj good !ui
8 The Rime of the
But when the Nor dim uoT red, like God's own head,
fog cleared off,
they justify the The glorious Sun uprist :
samey and thus
mak themselves Then all averred, I had killed the bird
the crime. That brought the fog and mist.
^ 'Twas right/ said they, ^ such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.'
The fair bree^ The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
continues ^ the
ship enters the The furrow foUowed free ;
and sails north- We Were the first that ever burst
wardy even till it
reaches the Line. IntO that silent SCa.
The ship hath Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
becalmed. 'Twas sad as sad could be j
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea !
All in a hot and copper sky.
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand.
No bigger than the Moon.
Q^ncient <dMariner 9
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion j
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, every where, ^^nd the
And all the boards did shrink j begins to
Water, water, every where.
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot : O Christ !
That ever this should be !
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.
About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night •
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.
The (^Ancient zJMariner
yt spirit had fol-
lowed them i one
of the invisible
souls nor angels ;
the learned JeWy
yosephus, and the
may be consulted.
They are very
there Is no climate
or element without
And some in dreams assured were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so ;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root j
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been chok'd with soot.
The shipmates y In
their sore distress ,
would fain throw
the whole guilt
on the ancient
Afarlner: In sign
whereoj they hang
the dead sea-bird
round his neck.
Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
^ -^ %
1 HERE passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time ! a weary time !
How glazed each weary eye,
When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.
At first it seem'd a little speck.
And then it seem'd a mist ;
It moved and moved, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist.
holdeth a sign
in the element
A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist !
And still it near'd and nearM :
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tack'd and veer'd.
IX The Rime of the
^t its nearer With throats uHslakcd, with black lips baked,
approach y it
seemeth him to Wq could Hor laugh nor wail ;
be a ship; and at
a dear ransom Througli uttcf drought all duiTib we stood !
he jreeth his
speech from the J bit mv arm. I sucked the blood,
bonds of thirst.
And cried, A sail ! a sail !
With throats unslaked, with black lips baked
Agape they heard me call :
^ flash ofjoyi Gramercy ! they for joy did grin.
And all at once their breath drew in,
As they were drinking all.
^nd horror Scc ! sce ! (I cricd) she tacks no more !
For can it be a Hithcr to work US wcal ;
ship that comes
onward without Without a brcczc, without a tide,
wind or tide ?
She Steadies with upright keel !
The western wave was all a-flame.
The day was well nigh done !
Almost upon the western wave
(^Ancient zJMariner 1 3
Rested the broad bright Sun ;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the Sun.
And straight the Sun was flecked with bars, ^^ ^^^^^^^ ^'^^
but the skeleton
(Heaven's Mother send us grace !) of a ship.
As if through a dungeon-grate he peerM ^"^ '^^' ^'^^ ^^^
seen as bars on
With broad and burning face. '^'/^" 'f'^'
*-' setting Sun.
Alas ! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
How fast she nears and nears !
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,
Like restless gossameres ?
Are those her ribs through which the Sun
Did peer, as through a grate >
And is that Woman all her crew >
Is that a Death > and are there two >
Is Death that woman's mate >
and no other
on board the
14 The Rime of the
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold :
L\\^ vessel. Her sklii was as white as leprosy,
lik^ crew !
The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.
de^th, and The naked hulk alongside came,
have diced for And the twain were casting dice ;
the ship's crew,
and she (the <• The gamc is done ! I've won, I Ve won ! '
the ancient Quoth shc, and whistlcs thrice.
No twilight The Sun's rim dips j the stars rush out :
courts of the At ouc Stride comes the dark :
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea.
Off shot the spectre-bark.
We listen'd and look'd sideways up !
Fear at my heart, as at a cup.
My life-blood seem'd to sip !
The stars were dim, and thick the night.
The steersman's face by his lamp gleam'd white j
From the sails the dews did drip-
Till clombe above the eastern bar
The horndd Moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.
Four times fifty living men,
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.
The souls did from their bodies fly.
They fled to bliss or woe !
And every soul, it passed me by.
Like the whiz of my cross-bow ! ''
of the Mooriy
One after one, by the star-dogg'd Moon, om after
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turn'd his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursM me with his eye.
But Life- in-
The jvedding- \_ FEAR tlicc, ancieiit Mariner !
Guest feareth i i •
that a Sf iritis I fear thy skmny hand !
talking to him;
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.
I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown." —
But the ancient « Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest !
assurethhim of This body dropt not down.
his bodily lije,
and proceedeth to . . , 11111
reUtehis horrible Alone, aloue, all, all alone,
pnance. j^y^^^ ^^ ^ widc wide sea !
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.
The many men, so beautiful !
And they all dead did lie :
j^e despiseth And a thousand thousand slimy things
0/ the caimy Liv'd on j and so did I.
The (^Ancient zJMariner 17
I looked upon the rotting sea, ^nd envkth
that they should
And drew my eyes away ; live, and so
many lie dead,
I looked upon the rotting deck.
And there the dead men lay.
I looked to Heaven, and tried to pray j
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.
I closed my lids, and kept them close.
And the balls like pulses beat ;
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
Lay like a load on my weary eye.
And the dead were at my feet.
The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Nor rot nor reek did they :
The look with which they look'd on me
Had never pass'd away.
1 8 The Rime of the
An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high ;
But oh ! more horrible than that
iivethforhim Is the curse in a dead man's eye !
in the eyz oJ[
the dead men. Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse.
And yet I could not die.
In his loneliness The moving Moon went up the sky,
and fixedness he
yearneth towards Aud no whcre did abidc :
thejourneying ^ r^l U
Moon, and the Sottly ShC WaS gOing Up,
stars that still a J i • i
sojourn.yet still ^ud a Star or two beside —
move onward i
"^'Zliu^lky ^^^ ^^^^ bemock'd the sultry main,
belongs ,0 them, Ljj^g ^pj^i hoar-frost Spread ;
and IS their ^ ^ *
appointed rest, ^^1^ wlicre the ship's huge shadow lay,
and their native
country and their Xhc charmdd watcr burnt alway
homes, which A Still and awful red.
they enter unan-
nounced, as lords _. |, , ■. ^, ,.
th^t are certainly Beyond the shadow of the ship,
C['isf2m'oy I watch'd the water-snakes :
at,he,rarrhal. -jy^ ^^^^^ -^^ ^^^^y.^ of shlning whitC,
By the light of the ^ ^ '
MoonhebehoidetW And wheu thcy reared, the elfish light
God's creatures of
the great calm. Fell ofF iu hoary flakes.
Within the shadow of the ship
I watch'd their rich attire :
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam j and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.
O happy living things ! no tongue
Their beauty might declare :
A spring of love gushed from my heart.
And I blessed them unaware :
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
Their beauty and
He hlesseth them
in his heart.
The self same moment I could pray ;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.
The spell begins
Oh sleep ! it is a gentle thing,
Belov'd from pole to pole !
To Mary Queen the praise be given !
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slid into my soul.
By grace of the The siUy buckets on the deck,
the ancient That had SO loug remained,
refreshed with I dreamt that they were filled with dew ;
And when I awoke, it rained.
My lips were wet, my throat was cold.
My garments all were dank ;
Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
And still my body drank.
The (^Ancient dMartner
I moved, and could not feel my limbs :
I was so light — almost
I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessdd ghost.
And soon I heard a roaring wind :
It did not come anear ;
But with its sound it shook the sails.
That were so thin and sere.
sounds and seeth
in the sky and
The upper air burst into life !
And a hundred fire-flags sheen,
To and fro they were hurried about !
And to and fro, and in and out,
The wan stars danced between.
And the coming wind did roar more loud.
And the sails did sigh like sedge ;
And the rain pour'd down from one black cloud ;
The Moon was at its edge.
2X The Rime of the
The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
The Moon was at its side :
Like waters shot from some high crag.
The lightning fell with never a jag,
A river steep and wide.
The loud wind never reached the ship.
Yet now the ship moved on !
Beneath the lightning and the Moon
The dead men gave a groan.
The hod'm of Thev groan'd, they stirr'd, they all uprose,
the sh'xfs crew
are inspirited, Nor spakc, nor moved their eyes j
and the ship
moves oni It had bccn Strange, even in a dream.
To have seen those dead men rise.
The helmsman steered, the ship moved on ;
Yet never a breeze up-blew ;
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do ;
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools —
We were a ghastly crew.
The body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee :
The body and I pulled at one rope.
But he said nought to me."
" I fear thee, ancient Mariner ! "
" Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest !
'Twas not those souls that fled in pain.
Which to their corses came again,
But a troop of spirits blest :
But not by the
souls of the men,
nor by daemons of
earth or middle
air, but by a
blessed troop of
sent down by the
invocation of the
For when it dawned — they dropped their arms,
And clustered round the mast ;
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths.
And from their bodies passed.
Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
Then darted to the Sun j
Slowly the sounds came back again,
Now mixed, now one by one.
14 The Rime of the
Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
I heard the sky-lark sing j
Sometimes all little birds that are.
How they seem'd to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning !
And now 'twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely fiute j
And now it is an angePs song,
That makes the heavens be mute.
It ceased ; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.
Till noon we quietly sailed on.
Yet never a breeze did breathe :
Slowly and smoothly went the ship.
Moved onward from beneath.
Under the keel nine fathom deep.
From the land of mist and snow,
The spirit slid : and it was he
That made the ship to go.
The sails at noon left off" their tune.
And the ship stood still also.
Spirit from the
south pole carries
on the ship as
far as the Line^
in obedience to
the angelic troops
The Sun, right up above the mast,
Had fixed her to the ocean :
But in a minute she 'gan stir,
With a short uneasy motion —
Backwards and forwards half her length
With a short uneasy motion.
Then like a pawing horse let go.
She made a sudden bound :
It flung the blood into my head.
And I fell down in a swound.
How long in that same fit I lay,
I have not to declare ;
But ere my living life returned.
x6 The z^ncient ^dMariner
I heard, and in my soul discerned
Tht Polar ...
Spims fellow- Two VOICES in the air.
the 'element ^ Is it he ? ' quoth One, ^ is this the man >
hiswZng] By Him who died on cross,
relate, one to With his cruel bow he laid full low
the other, that
penance long The harmless Albatross.
and heavy for
Mariner hath .. I'lii i- i*-
been accorded Thc Spirit who bidcth by himself
to the Polar
Spirit, who In the land of mist and snow,
southward. He lovcd the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow.'
The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey -dew :
Quoth he, ^ The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do.'
JjuT tell me, tell me ! speak again,
Thy soft response renewing —
What makes that ship drive on so fast >
What is the ocean doing ?
Still as a slave before his lord.
The OCEAN hath no blast ;
His great bright eye most silently
Up to the Moon is cast —
If he may know which way to go ;
For she guides him smooth or grim.
See, brother, see ! how graciously
She looketh down on him.
i8 The Rime of the
The Mariner But why drives Oil that ship so fast,
hath been cast
into a trances WithoUt Of WaVC Or wind ?
for the angelic
power causeth the SsCOtld KoicB
•vessel to drive
northward faster Thc air is cut away before,
than human life
could endure. And closcs from behind.
Fly, brother, fly ! more high, more high
Or we shall be belated :
For slow and slow that ship will go,
When the Mariner's trance is abated.'
The super- \ wokc, and we were sailing on
is retarded i the As in a gentle weather :
Mariner awakes y
and his penance 'T was night, calm night, the Moon was high ;
The dead men stood together.
All stood together on the deck.
For a charnel-dungeon fitter :
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.
<z^ncient zSMariner 29
The pang, the curse, with which they died.
Had never passed away :
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.
And now this spell was snapt : once more The mrse is
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen —
Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread.
And having once turnM round, walks on,
And turns no more his head ;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.
But soon there breathed a wind on me.
Nor sound nor motion made :
Its path was not upon the sea,
In ripple or in shade.
go The Rime of the
It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Like a meadow-gale of spring —
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too :
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze —
On me alone it blew.
^nd the ancient Oh! drcam of joy ! is this indeed
behoideth his The light -housc top I see >
Is this the hill > is this the kirk >
Is this mine own countree >
We drifted o'er the harbour-bar.
And I with sobs did pray —
O let me be awake, my God !
Or let me sleep alway.
The harbour-bay was clear as glass.
So smoothly it was strewn !
And on the bay the moonlight lay.
And the shadow of the moon.
The rock shone bright, the kirk no less.
That stands above the rock : ,
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.
And the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were.
In crimson colours came.
A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were :
I turned my eyes upon the deck —
Oh, Christ ! what saw I there !
Each corse lay Hat, lifeless and flat.
And, by the holy rood !
A man all light, a seraph-man.
On every corse there stood.
spirits leave the
dead bodies y
u^nd appear in
their own forms
:^z The Rime of the
This seraph-band, each waved his hand
It was a heavenly sight !
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light ;
This seraph-band, each waved his hand
No voice did they impart —
No voice ; but oh ! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.
But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the Pilot's cheer ;
My head was turn'd perforce away.
And I saw a boat appear.
The Pilot and the Pilot's boy,
I heard them coming fast :
Dear Lord in Heaven ! it was a joy
The dead men could not blast.
I saw a third — I heard his voice :
It is the Hermit good !
He singeth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood.
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
The Albatross's blood.
*i>3gVT y r T y Vk y T T y TVAfc
The Hermit of 1 HIS Hermit good lives in that wood
the Wood, , . , ,
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears !
He loves to talk with marineres
That come from a far countree.
He kneels at morn^ and noon, and eve —
He hath a cushion plump :
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak-stump.
^pproacheth the Thc SkifF-boat near'd : I heard them talk.
thlp with wonder. , • • -r
^ Why, this IS strange, I trow !
Where are those lights so many and fair,
That signal made but now > '
The (L/Incient dMariner 3 y
^ Strange, by my faith ! ' the Hermit said —
^ And they answered not our cheer !
The planks looked warped ! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere !
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were
Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along ^
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below.
That eats the she-wolPs young.'
^ Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look—
(The Pilot made reply)
I am a-feared ' — ^ Push on, push on ! '
Said the Hermit cheerily.
The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred :
The boat came close beneath the ship.
And straight a sound was heard.
3 6 The Rime of the
The shifsud' Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread :
It reached the ship, it split the bay ;
The ship went down like lead:
The ancient Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound.
saved in the Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drown'd
My body lay afloat ;
But swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot's boat.
Upon the whirl, where sank the ship.
The boat spun round and round ;
And all was still, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound.
I moved my lips — the Pilot shrieked
And fell down in a fit ;
The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
And prayed where he did sit.
I took the oars : the Pilot's boy.
Who now doth crazy go,
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro.
^ Ha ! ha ! ' quoth he, ^ full plain I see.
The Devil knows how to row.'
And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land !
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.
^ O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man ! '
The Hermit cross'd his brow.
^ Say quick,' quoth he, ^ I bid thee say —
What manner of man art thou > '
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woeful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale ;
And then it left me free.
ly entreateth the
shrieve him ^
and the penance
of life falls on
58 The Rime of the
^nd ever and Sincc tlicn, at an uncertain hour,
his future life That agony returns :
an agony con-
straineth him to And till Hiy ghastly tale is told,
travel jrom land
to land i This heart within me burns.
I pass, like night, from land to land ;
I have strange power of speech ;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me :
To him my tale I teach.
What loud uproar bursts from that door !
The wedding-guests are there :
But in the garden-bower the bride
And bride-maids singing are :
And hark the little vesper bell.
Which biddeth me to prayer !
O Wedding-Guest ! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea :
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
Scarce seemdd there to be.
(^Ancient zSidariner 3 9
O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company ! —
To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray.
While each to his great Father bends.
Old men, and babes, and loving friends
And youths and maidens gay !
Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell ^nd to teach,
by his own
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest ! example, lo-ve
He prayeth well, who loveth well ^^ '^^^ ^^'"^^
that God made
Both man and bird and beast. andiovetk
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small ;
For the dear God who loveth us.
He made and loveth all.''
40 The z^nc'tent ^Mariner
The Mariner^ whose eye is bright.
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone : and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.
He went like one that hath been stunned.
And is of sense forlorn :
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.
750 copes printed At the Oxford Vniversky Press
ty John Johnson
Printer to the Vnlversity
Designed bj Bruce Rogers